Services offered at a designated centre

Medico-social intervention

Medico-social intervention services are offered to sexual assault victims who present themselves at a designated centre. 

The objectives of medico-social intervention are as follows:

  • Provide support for victims and their loved ones

  • Assess and respond to victims’ needs

  • Make sure victims are safe

  • Provide victims and their loved ones with information and resources

  • Reassure victims regarding their physical health

  • Detect and treat any injuries

  • Prevent pregnancy;

  • Detect, treat or prevent sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections (STBBIs)

  • Gather evidence*

Preparing for a medico-social intervention

Go to a designated centre as quickly as possible.

You will be seen even if you do not meet all the conditions listed below.

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Bring your health insurance card or any other health insurance document.

Try to avoid washing yourself.

 

Try to avoid using the toilet.

Try not to eat or drink.

Do not take any psychotropic medication unless you take one on a regular basis by prescription.

Avoid washing the clothes you were wearing when you were assaulted and bring them with you.

 

Tell the triage nurse at the designated centre that you have been sexually assaulted (you will not be asked for any details).

* To find out more about the medical examination procedure following a report of sexual violence toward a child, please visit the Marie-Vincent Foundation's website.

Description of the medico-social intervention

Step 1:  Welcome and emotional support

When you arrive at the designated centre, you will be welcomed by a team member who will provide you with support throughout the entire procedure. You will have the opportunity to talk and express your needs and your emotions to someone who will listen to you.

​Step 2:  Deciding on the type of intervention

You and the person assisting you will decide which kit will be used during the intervention: the medico-social kit or the forensic kit.

Step 3:  Medico-social history

Based on your description of the event, the person assisting you will assess your needs (with your input) and determine which examinations and samples are required. This information will be entered on a form.

​Step 4 : Medical exam, forensic or medico-social kit, tests and samples

Medical examinations are always done by a doctor (may be a woman or a man). A counsellor and a nurse may also be present. This examination, which may be done regardless of whether you decide to report the assault to the police or not, includes:

  • checking your overall condition

  • treating any injuries

  • detecting any sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections (STBBIs)

  • preventing pregnancy

  • taking samples for evidence (only in the case of a forensic exam)

Step 5 : Care and treatment

This step includes, if necessary, preventing pregnancy or STBBIs, treating injuries or STBBIs and prescribing medication.

​Step 6 : Information and support, reporting the situation to the DYP and/or the police and referrals

Depending on how you choose to proceed, this step includes:

  • reporting the assault to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP)

  • helping you file a report with the police

  • setting up appointments for medical and psychosocial follow-up

  • issuing any documents required to justify your absence from work or school

  • providing contact information for community organizations that specialize in helping victims of sexual assault, such as CALACS, CAVACs, women’s shelters, etc.

Step 7 : Medical follow-up

Two or three weeks after your first visit, the designated centre will do a follow-up to reassess your general health, test for possible pregnancy or detect and treat STBBIs.

Step 8 : Psychosocial follow-up

Depending on how your designated centre operates, you will be offered a psychosocial follow-up at some point during the months following your sexual assault to help you cope with your reactions and any potential consequences, such as nightmares, fear, insomnia, fatigue and anxiety.

* These steps vary from one designated centre to another. 

Your consent is required at every stage of the intervention.

Your wishes will be heard and respected.  

For more information

* To find out more about designated centres and the services they offer, consult the Information Guide for Sexual Assault Victims.